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Lesson TEN - Be Kind


Upper Primary

How to Respond to Bullies





Students will:


  • Practice being assertive and how to say ‘no’

  • Learn how to respond to bullies and how to speak up

  • Practise giving and receiving compliments


KEY VOCABULARY: bully, teasing, dobbing, reporting, filling, dipping, empty, aggressive, repeated, clear, firm.


Background Information

The last lesson in the program focuses on how to respond to bullies.  Often, children are told to ignore a bully in the hope that the problem will go away. Bullying is not okay and should not be ignored.  Sometimes the more a bully thinks he/she can target a victim without a response, the more he/she will continue to do so. This lesson focuses on teaching children how to be assertive and how to stand up for themselves.  An assertive response is an effective way to show a bully that he doesn’t have power over a victim.  Aggressive comebacks that put down or attack a bully will invite further abuse.  Children need to learn assertive phrases that are non-confrontational, that stand up to bullies and stop the bullying behaviour.  Furthermore, the lesson looks at what bullying behaviour looks like and the difference between joking around and a one-off ‘teasing’ event. Children are taught that bullying behaviour is repeated, aggressive behaviour that intends to hurt or scare a victim.  The children are taught the difference between tattling verse reporting and the importance of reporting bullying behaviour to an adult.

Kids Helpline encourages children to:

  • Keep their distance from bullying

  • Don't bully back

  • Tell them what they are doing is not ok

  • Talk to an adult they trust

  • Take some time to do something nice for themselves


Lesson Plan

Introduce Lesson and Review Previous Lesson

​Review the previous sessions by asking students to remember what was covered in the last session. Shape students’ responses to reflect the learning intent from the previous lesson. Revise Group guidelines.

Welcome back.  In our last lesson, we looked at helpful ways and unhelpful ways to resolve disagreements. Today we are going to learn how to respond to other children who may say or do mean things.  You are going to learn how to be assertive and what to say to a bully and then what you need to do.

A Gratitude Attitude (5 minutes)

​Sit in a circle. Ask each student to share something that they are grateful for or something positive that has happened to them this week. This simple activity is training students to be positive and to have a gratitude attitude.​

A gratitude attitude focuses on the NOW!  Try to pay attention and be thankful for what you already have and not worry about what you don’t have.  People with a gratitude attitude are positive, resilient and happy.


Activity 1: The Importance of Being Kind (10 minutes)


Did you know one kind word can change someone’s entire day?

I’m going to show you what being unkind does to a person.  We have all said mean things.  No one is perfect.  We are all human.  I’ve said mean things to my sister/brother growing up.  Sometimes we say something unkind and we don’t really mean it.  We may have said it because we were really angry.  The thing is our unkind words can do damage to a person.

 I want to show you what it can do. I have a peach, a healthy fresh peach.  I’m going to push and gently squeeze the peach.  I’m not intending to damage the peach.  Gently squeezing. It still looks just like a normal peach.  Have a look.  It doesn’t look any different, does it? I’m going to now cut it open.  Oh no!  Can you see what I’ve done to the peach?  I’ve bruised it! It’s broken and bruised.  It doesn’t look like what a peach should look like inside. Just like this peach, people can be bruised inside too.  When you say unkind things or do unkind things you bruise someone on the inside.  They might look the same on the outside but they are bruised inside just like this peach. The good news is that it doesn’t take much to heal the bruises. If you see someone being bullied you can make a difference.  It could be a matter of a smile or sitting next to them or asking if they can join your game. Remember that one kind word can change someone’s entire day!

Let’s watch a video to see what happens when you colour someone’s world with kindness.

Discussion Questions:

  • What happened to the person who had a kind act shown to them?

  • What happened to the person who showed kindness? Two things happen when you are kind.  You warm someone’s heart and you also warm your heart.  Your kind act makes someone feel good and it comes right back to you.



Activity 2: Have You Filled Your Bucket Today (10 minutes)​

Did you know that one kind word can change someone’s entire day?  It can change your day, too.  When you are kind, your brain releases a hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin makes you feel good. This means the kinder you are the better you feel and the happier you are.  We are going to read a story about what happens when you are kind and what happens when you are unkind.

​Read 'Have You Filled Your Bucket Today' by Carol McCloud.  If reading the digital version of the story, mute the video and read the story to your group. Encourage a discussion about the key points in the story.


​Discussion questions.

​-    How do you think you feel when you have a full bucket?

-    How do you think you feel when you have an empty bucket?

-    What are some thoughts you may have when your bucket is full?

-    What are some thoughts you may have when your bucket is empty?

-    With a full bucket, are you likely to be friendly or unfriendly?

Activity 3: Filling Buckets (10 minutes)

We are now going to make our own buckets.  We will finish today's lesson by filling up each others' buckets.

​Give each student a sheet of origami paper.  You may need to help the younger students with some of the steps.

Activity 4: Is it Bullying? (5 minutes)


Before we fill up each others' buckets, I want to talk to you about what is bullying behaviour is and what you should do if you are getting bullied. How can you tell if you are being bullied?  A bully is someone who repeatedly tries to hurt you on purpose. Bulling is never okay.  It is mean and hurtful and can impact the person for a long time.  There are things you can do and people you can talk to if you are being bullied.  You are never alone.  There are different ways you can be bullied.  You may be bullied verbally.  This means the bully may call you names, tease you, put you down or threaten to hurt you.  You may be bullied physically.  This means the bully may hit you, kick you, break your things or push you.  You may be bullied socially.  This means the bully may leave you out on purpose, play mean jokes or spread mean things about you.   Or you may be cyber bullied.  This means a person bullies you by sending hurtful messages through technology.

​Do you remember a time when you or someone you know was bullied?

​Read though 'Is it Bullying?' poster.

Cyber Bullying

​Let's talk about cyberbullying.  Who has heard of cyber bullying?  What is is?  Allow time for response.  Cyberbullying is bullying someone via technology. 

​What does cyberbullying look like? Allow time for response. (Examples: hurtful messages, images or comments, intimidating or harassing you, spreading rumours or lies about you etc).

​It can be difficult to escape cyberbullying because we use technology so much and the bullying can happen even when you are at home. Has anyone experienced cyberbullying?

​If you are or you know of someone who is being cyberbullied it is important that you take action.

​Write the following steps on the board.

​1. Do not engage.  Tell them it's not OK. Do not engage with the bully.  Instead..

2. Report.  Report the bully by telling a trusted adult.

3. Block.  Block the bully so that they can't contact you again.

4. Keep evidence. Remember to save the evidence by printing it out or taking a screenshot.

Activity 5: How to Respond to Bullies (5 minutes)

​As we have learned, a bully is someone who repeatedly tries to hurt, scare or leave you out.  The bully may hit, push, call you names, take your things or leave you out of a game.  A bully is a bucket dipper and if you don’t stand up to them, they may continue to hurt or scare you.  It is very important for you to tell an adult when someone is bullying you.  Today, we are going to learn some phrases that you can say if you ever come across a bully.  When faced with a bully, it is important to stick up for yourself.

Write on the board.

​How to be face a bully.

1.    Maintain eye contact

2.    Keep your voice calm and even (not angry or sad)

3.    Stand an appropriate distance from the bully (arms distance)

4.    Use the bully’s name when speaking to him or her

We are now going to learn what you can say to the bully when he calls you a name or tries to hurt you. Remember, you must look the bully in the eyes, keep your voice calm and use his name. These are lots of phrases you can say to the bully to stand up for yourself. You may say.

1.    Cut it out

2.    Knock it off

3.    Not cool

4.    That was not funny

5.    I can take a joke, but what you said was not funny – it was mean

6.    Friends don’t do that to friends

7.    I like the way I look

8.    Don’t do that


It is important not to say something mean back to the bully.  It’s also important to use a strong, calm voice. Let’s practise our strong, brave responses.​

​One at a time, each student picks a phrase to practise using the teacher's name (E.g. Michele that was not funny).

Activity 6: Dobbing/Tattling verse Reporting (5 minutes)

​It is very important to tell adult if someone is bullying you.  The adult may be a teacher that you trust and you know who will listen to you.  The adult may be your Mum, your Dad or your Grandmother.  Dobbing is very different from reporting a bully.  Let’s look a little closer at the difference between dobbing and reporting.

​Write Dobbing and Reporting on the board

​Ask students to think of examples of dobbing and reporting.


  • Getting someone in trouble.

  • The behaviour you are reporting on is an accident.

  • It’s harmless.

  • Can be solved on its own.

  • Not important.



  • Keeping someone safe.

  • The behaviour you are reporting is on purpose.

  • It’s dangerous.

  • Need help from an adult.

  • Important.


Concluding Discussion: Giving and receiving compliments (5 minutes)

​When our buckets are full, we are more likely to fill our bucket and the buckets of others and when our buckets are empty, we tend to find our-selves dipping. We are going to finish our lesson today by filling up each others' buckets!

​Hand out strips of paper for the students to write a compliment to each member of the group to place in their buckets.  Ask the students to sit in a circle and place their bucket in front of them.  On the white board, write some examples of compliments (kind, smart, funny, sweet, trustworthy, helpful, friendly, honest etc).  Hand out 6 pieces of paper to each student so that they can write to each member of the group.  Ask them to fold up their message/word and place it in the recipient's basket. Explain to the group that they are not to read their compliments until they are in the car or at home. ​

Conclusion: You’ve Got GRIT (5 minutes)

Congratulations!  We have now finished the Get GRIT.  I have enjoyed working with you throughout the term. It’s now time to practice all the skills you have learned during our time together.

​One at a time, ask each student the following questions. You may like to ask students to choose a sticker each time they answer the question.

​Discussion questions:

​•    What have you enjoyed the most about Get GRIT?

•    What have you found to be the most helpful?

•    What will you remember about Get GRIT?

•    What do you think was the most important lesson for you to learn from Get GRIT?


The lessons you have learned in GRIT you will need throughout your life and it will take practice, and many mistakes, to become more resilient and persistent and better at making and keeping friends.  Good luck!

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